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Candela

Title: Candela
Author: tohereandnow
Characters: Alex/Danny
Rating: M
Word Count: 2566
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this.
Summary: A re-examination of London Spy from Alex's perspective.

The trails of light which they seemed to leave behind them in all kinds of curlicues and streamers and spirals, and which Gerald in particular admired, did not really exist, explained Alphonso, but were merely phantom traces created by the sluggish reaction of the human eye, appearing to see a certain afterglow in the place from which the insect itself, shining for only the fraction of a second in the lamplight, had already gone. It was such unreal phenomena, said Alphonso, the sudden incursion of unreality into the real world, certain effects of light in the landscape spread out before us, or in the eye of a beloved person, that kindled our deepest feelings, or at least what we took for them.

-- Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald


It's something he dreams about with irregular frequency.

Alex's profile folded up in the trunk, sheen of sweat, textbook-perfect musculature on display. His eyes are closed but his breathing is too deep for sleep. He starts to stir, moans, a parody of sexual pleasure. He traces his fingers along the insides of the trunk, back and forth, back and forth, the way an ant will march the perimeter of dry land enclosed by water. He is frightened, Danny can tell, his eyes are squeezed way too tight, as though such an act might push him deeper into sleep and prove this all a dream. He pounds those perfect hands against the lid and cries out, but Danny cannot go to him; he is transfixed in a vantage point of light, heart rent and mouth dry in his voyeuristic enjoyment of a naked man in a sealed box. How much of him is culpable, how much of him the grieving romantic? Alex is sobbing now, reduced to snot and spittle. It dawns upon Danny that if he could just find a way to turn off the light he might save the man he loves. After all, lies and truths are but half-brothers in the dark. The light, he thinks, the light, and then the locks, sprung open to expel the torrid truth that a man can be condemned by his own invention within the lurid dimensions of the public imagination. The light, the light, Danny searches frantically as Alex starts to scream, but then he too is in the dark and cannot get his bearings, much less locate the switch. He stretches his hands out to embrace armfuls of air, helplessly watching as Alex turns his face to him and stares, neither accusing nor absolving yet no less arresting in a drawn-out fermata, the abyss Danny once thought he had averted now gazing back at him, and he awakes.

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Each Our Own Devil

Title: Each Our Own Devil
Author: tohereandnow
Characters: Dean/Sam, Lucifer
Rating: M
Word Count: 7086
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this.
Warning: Torture, incest, self-harm and suicide. Spoilers for the first ten seasons.
Summary: I will kill myself before letting you in. And I'll just bring you back. Sam takes Lucifer at his word and Dean kills monsters. They learn that they keep each other human. Set primarily after 5x03 and 5x04.
A/N: Title from a quote by Oscar Wilde. The idea of the man who can be killed but not sacrificed comes from Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer. The part about time is credited to Doctor Who and David Foster Wallace's "Good Old Neon".


Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
To set a form upon desired change,
As I'll myself disgrace


-- W. Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXXIX


The first time is always the hardest. It is also the most thrilling, because, hey, you never know if Lucifer is going to keep his side of the bargain when he says he'll bring you back. Sam makes preparations, which include a secluded motel, a third of a bottle of whiskey and a box cutter. It is about three in the morning, the hour when fatigue gives way to tense wakefulness and a teetering sense of possibility. Sam had spent the entire night turning Dean's words over and over in his head, his instructions to pick a hemisphere rolling off his tongue the way one might choose a sandwich filling, his demand that they stay away from each other forever. Forever frightens him; the idea of an eternal existence unmoored, adrift. Dean's nonchalance, though well-deserved, would have been more palatable if it was attached with an expiration date. Here, it would say, this is when I can come back, and you will be glad, for I was lost but now am found. Now he is in perpetual exile. He feels abandoned, even if he was the one who first walked away. After being fussed over for twenty odd years, Sam is suddenly nobody's burden. You might think he would have a little trouble adjusting.

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Providence

Title: Providence
Author: tohereandnow
Characters: Dean/Sam, Sam/Brady
Rating: M
Word Count: 3965
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this.
Warning: Incest and drug references. Spoilers for 5x20.
Summary: Sam entertains possibilities, Dean has unsavoury habits and everything is inevitable. A biennial chronicle of the teenage years of Sam Winchester.
A/N: References to Arthur Miller's The Crucible, L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, Hugh Laurie's "Mystery" and Hamlet.

Someone ought to tell them that witches do exist. Yeah, there's herd instinct, subtle invasions of the mind that snowball into mass hysteria, a Sisyphus in reverse, the impressionability of youth and the all-consuming black hole that is the repressed sexuality of teenage girls, but as a matter of fact, there are witches. Truly. Sam had spent his fourteenth birthday holding Dean's head over the toilet and watched as the grimy porcelain was stained red while his brother retched, so he knows.

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Revenant

Title: Revenant
Author: tohereandnow
Characters: Dean/Sam, Castiel, Gadreel, Abner
Rating: M
Word Count: 2656
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this.
Warning: Incest and suicidal ideation. Spoilers for the first ten seasons.
Summary: Sometimes the sins you haven't committed are all you have left to hold onto.-- David Sedaris.
Post-8x23 AU. Sam completes the Trials. Dean lives. The angels undergo metamorphosis.


I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.


-- "Ulysses" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Dean takes stock of the prerequisite blades and firearms and tumblers of holy water, canisters of salt and rows of silver bullets fallen in like obedient soldiers, the now useless anti-possession charms dangling from a corner of the trunk winking at him and possibly daring him to bloody murder. He tugs on them but they refuse to give. Well. Something needs to be done about those. Oh, and Sam. Something needs to be done about Sam, slumped over in the passenger seat, face gaunt and hair askew, his shirt front darkening steadily from cradling the hand Dean hadn't come in time to stay. Sam who had gotten himself killed, again, the fucker.

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The Family of Things

Title: The Family of Things
Author: tohereandnow
Characters: Dean/Sam
Rating: M
Word Count: 2633
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this.
Warning: Torture, incest, self-harm and suicidal ideation. Spoilers for the first ten seasons.
Summary: Tell me about your despair, yours, (and I will tell you mine.) Meanwhile the world goes on. Sam's wall is broken. Time is fluid. Pain, he learns, is not.
A/N: Title taken from "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver. Also, a shameless borrowing of Tam Lin.


OTHELLO
Think on thy sins.

DESDEMONA
                They are loves I bear to you.

OTHELLO
Ay, and for that thou diest.

-- Othello (V.2.40)


1
It is another day. There's a road. You're supposed to follow it. You've never liked driving. Too many variables, you said. And then Dean put those keys into your hands and his eyes warned, don't let me down and take care of baby and fuck, Sam stop being a girl and so you drive, down this road that runs on and on with no end in sight, and you think of everything (girls, boys, Dean) except how you stuck that knife into that empty shell of a person back there in Bobby's house, the one you'd look at in the mirror but don't recognise, and ain't that a fucking cliché. And someone says what the hell is this shit doing on the radio anyway before a hand disciplines the stereo into silence and Sammy drives. Sammy drives and Dean smiles, proud of his little brother with the too-big hands on that steering wheel, palms slippery against the leather and you smile too.

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Pentimento

Title: Pentimento
Author: tohereandnow
Characters: Sam, Lucifer, Gadreel, Abner
Rating: M
Word Count: 5209
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this.
Warning: Torture. Spoilers for the first nine seasons.
Summary: Even as torture twists our bodies into impossible shapes it entwines our hearts with another. Gadreel's stint in prison, Sam's time in the Cage.
A/N: "The Three Gibbet Crossroads" is taken from The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. The beginning is an appropriation for Charlie.


Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell,
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.


-- "Lay your sleeping head, my love" by W.H. Auden


In Heaven there was a prison. Not a nasty, dirty, cold prison, with bad food and equally distasteful bunkmates, nor yet a factory of radicalised bigotry, hate and poorly distilled prison hooch: it was a penitentiary decreed by God, and that meant peace, quiet and the necessary time and occasion for reflection and reconciliation.

Here, the angels of Heaven deemed disobedient were kept until they learnt to be sorry for their various offences. Pardon had already been given at the very first instance of wrongdoing. What was truly important was to punish iniquity, to pluck out any sign of dissent by the root, and to, hopefully, in its place, plant the seeds of obeisance and nurture them into fruition.

Gadreel sat in the corner of his cell, marking not time but the passage of eternity. The smooth grey stone that he rested against had grown from irksome to reassuring. Why condemn what little you have left with anger and discontent? Better for a monstrosity like himself to be kept away, hidden, for the greater good of all. What he did, what he set in motion is unforgiveable. A scream from the cell at his left disturbs this morning's placidity. Pleas, to stop, stop, please.

In Heaven there is a prison. (And in Hell there is a cage.)

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Miming in the Choir

Title: Miming in the Choir
Author: tohereandnow
Characters: Finlay, Eric, the signals unit
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3486
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this. Film based on Eric Lomax's autobiography The Railway Man
Warning: Torture, suicide, PTSD, drug references
Summary: We are not slaves; we are soldiers. You remember that. Finlay's experience of the war alternated with a single day of his post-war life.
A/N: I am aware of the futility of words in representing the wartime experience. There is no way anyone could do it full justice with words or films or pictures. But I wanted so badly for Finlay's story to be told. This is my take on it.


And if the waters grow not less
                Nor ever will,
Of human sorrow, nobleness
                Is with us still,
And here and there a sail of tenderness.


                -- "The Mail-train, Crewe" by W.H. Auden


Dear E.,

I have just caught the ______ train to ______ and have put up in a cabin by the sea. The weather is incredibly mellow. I spend the days by the beach, just sitting in the sand, watching the tide come in. Maybe it'll bring someone in as it comes. Judgement coming in to visit, perhaps, from the sea.

I watch the boats. They speckle the horizon and I cannot make out the colour of their sails, or if there are any sails at all. Occasionally there are children. Sometimes I think I spy a hope, a sparkle in their eyes. They leave me alone, mostly, darting dangerously close to the foam that threatens to lick their feet each time it runs in to shore.

The waves are nothing but wind, you used to tell me. I try to remember that. I pray you are well.

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Verzaubern

did my best, it wasn't much / couldn't feel so i tried to touch / i told the truth i didn't come to fool ya
even though it all went wrong / stand before the lord of song / with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah


Warum soll ich die Welt bezwingen, wenn ich sie verzaubern kann.
-- Mesut Özil


Clip-clopping up and down the front yard in his mother's red high heels, loving the sound of it, steady and brisk and regular, very businesslike, until a rough hand spins him round and he wheels, teetering, axis off kilter and the ground rising up to greet his little boy's nose, and there he lies as they shout over him, grandpa hovering above his prostate form like a friendly albatross, his father using ugly words he does not understand, and there is a large gap between his ankles and those bright red heels that he hasn't noticed before.

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The Long Way Round

A/N: Plot belongs to Amy Ngew's "The Scent of A(nother) Woman" (Part I and II) This is basically a re-working of the three central characters' stories from their own perspectives, round-robin style, starting with the lawyer, followed by his wife, followed by the secretary, and on it goes until the end. More of an exercise to get me writing than anything else.



Nor was he especially handsome. But I loved his face. He had the face I love. You may be smitten with many faces when you live long enough and possess a responsive heart. But there is only one face you love. It is always the same. You recognize it among thousands. – Klaus Mann

There is butter on my tongue. It coats the roof of my mouth, smoothing out the consonants of my words as I lean in closer to her ear and whisper the obligatory eight letters that to date have become leached of their meaning. Have I tipped them out of the words themselves, or has she? No, iteration will invest them with some semblance of commitment, I am sure. I read an acknowledgement in the answering, amorous look in her eyes as we clink glasses. I loosen my tie, compliment the food. She is wearing the lipstick I gave her a week ago. I imagine kissing those lips goodbye, and rinse the picture out from my brain.

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Forge

Severn, Severn, lift me up for I am dying. I shall die easy. Don't be frightened. Thank God it has come.

Title: Forge
Author: [info]tohereandnow
Characters: Fíli, Kíli, Thorin
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Battle of Five Armies, canonical character death
Word Count: 2838
Disclaimer: Not real, not mine, not making money from this
Summary: "A throne, a crown prince, a line of kings." An exploration of brotherhood and birthrights.


sunt lacrimæ rerum
(these are the tears of things) -- Virgil’s
Aeneid


binary

Kíli’s face is a picture of perplexity. His mouth hangs slightly open with the effort as he winds his short, fat fingers into his hair, labouring at his unruly locks and willing them into braids. His best efforts at a piracy of his brother’s hair culminate in a lopsided bird’s nest atop his head.

Opening the closet door, Fíli nearly stumbles over his younger brother and laughs at his discovery, a short, sweet sound that startles them both, and Kíli is at once proud, embarrassed and blindly happy.

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